The data left intact expectations that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates for the first time since 2006 when it meets for the last time this year on December 15-16.
               
Worries about the fallout from the downing of a Russian warplane by Turkey, which weighed on stocks on Tuesday, eased as traders looked forward to today's Thanksgiving holiday.
               
"The data that's already come out is going to be the key and I think the markets are probably going to be fairly lackluster today," said Michael Baele, senior portfolio manager at US Bank Private Client Reserve in Portland, Oregon.
               
Data showed claims for jobless benefits fell more than expected to 260,000 last week while durable goods orders for October, excluding aircraft, increased 1.3 percent, far more than the 0.4 percent expected.
               
Other releases showed that new single-family home sales rose to levels last seen in early 2010, easing concerns that the housing market was heading for a significant slowdown.

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